Gold Rush, Numazu
Location: South side. Follow the main street south that travels under the rail tracks (this is the main street to the west of the station.) and keep going until you reach the red sails. check here for a map http://www.mapbuilder.net/users/burpwind/42289
Style: Hip Hop night club.
Menu: mostly club spirit mixes and some beers. Average cost around 500yen
Gaijin Friendly: Appears to, though we were in a large group 7/10, for now.
Cost: The night we went Ladies go in free and the Guy paid 1000yen entry that included a free drink. Not bad.
Now it took me about 4 months to realize why there were so many snack bars in this country and none of the buggers were serving fish and chips. For those of you not in the know, the snack bar is for the working man or woman who would like to have a little taste of something on the side while still going home to the three course meal of family life. But I digress. From initial appearances Gold Rush looked like another of Numazu’s many snack bars but it wasn’t long before I was informed by a friend that the place was indeed a night club. The occasional drunken stumble home from town past the club also reveal the heavy beats emanating from the ground floor. Over the ensuing months I was confident to have a good look at the notice board out the front without appearing like a dirty young (though my wife informs me, “old”) man. The club appeared to have quite a diverse line up featuring traveling DJ’s and some locals. I just needed an excuse.
The excuse came a few weeks ago when we were celebrating a friends birthday party. There was a group of about 7 or 8 of us and the birthday girl wanted to have a dance. My wife mentioned Gold Rush and we were off.
We made our way up the stairs and into a sort of a lounge bar. We all got a lot of stares on our arrival but this is not too uncommon in Japan. The patronage was made up predominately of girls with the odd splattering of guys uncomfortably trying to look cool. Now even on the main street of Nakamise women dress in some racy gear. Now, if you can imagine the raciness magnified three or four time then you will get a pretty good image of what the girls were wearing at the club (fhew! Difficult passage to write if I wanted to sleep in bed and not on the couch), As for the fellas, the standard pair of oversized baggy pants that hang just that little too far below the buttock as to look uncool, by Australian hip hop culture standards anyway. But, ladies there appeared to be some handsome guys out there for you.
So we lined up to get our drinks as the patrons returned to their conversations, makeup administration and vacant stares. As we were getting our drinks we were discussing the fact that there did not appear to be a dance floor. However, the birthday girl did notice a set of thin stairs near the bar and went to investigate. With birthday girl luck she managed to find that spiral staircase down to the nightclub area.
Once we all got our drinks we were off down stairs. The spiral staircase was an interesting touch to the club. I was the only entry point to the dance floor and the stairs were quite difficult to negotiate in the relative dark. I can imagine it would be a great test of sobriety for those poor inebriated sods who were destined to be trapped on the dance floor until they developed coordination enough to climb the their way back up and out.
Everything down here on the dance floor was black. Taking up one wall was the dj box and on the other were the majority of dancers standing there looking at the DJ’s or in some cases going out on a limb and moving side to side to the music. However, the birthday party ignored the status quo and jumped straight into dancing. I was surprised at how terrible a dancer I have become and wished to return to my early 20’s for some rhythm lessons. I certainly didn’t fit into the dancing scene anymore but I was determined to give it a crack and make the most out of the night. Just as I was getting into the music I began to feel the beginning of the ill fated monster of excessive pit sweat and my self confidence began to crumble. I made the decision to ditch the shirt and stick with the singlet I had on underneath. I new I was gonna cop some serious teasing after but it would be far better than swimming in a shirt drenched from the pits down. (Okay I know this is a gross segway but this night pushed me to find a solution to the problem and an internet search and subsequent purchase later I was all set.). Okay enough of the gross.
The night went on and the girls in our party began to drag some of the local boys out on the dance floor. This was mostly against their will but gaijin women are strong. I think they managed to get one or two guys to dance while the others acted like little teenagers running away at the first approach. It really was pathetic. I thought I was having confidence problems.
Admittedly, the music was really quite good for the club. They didn’t abuse the gangsta rap stuff too much like they do have a tendency to do in Australia and most of the rhythms and mixes were good to dance to.
I was time to head somewhere else so we wound our way back upstairs with a few glimpses at the refinance of the dance floor. Which now consisted of two big guys standing in the center bopping ever so slightly while staring at the dj’s.
Numazu’s Gold Rush is worth a visit. While there is quality music there was little dancing happening in the club that night. However, we did see some young dancers practicing their choreographed moves outside the club on our way out. When it comes to people watching it’s not a bad place there is some interesting fashion and equally amusing mate seeking behaviour. While I think it would be quite safe to go their alone I can guarantee you will not get a dance. Although these guys and gals all have the images of hip clubbers they still retain their Japanese shyness for good or ill.